When you work on goals for yourself, you are in the driver’s seat. Your success is based on your effort and not dependent on someone else seeing the light or even agreeing with you. When you are in charge, you write your own ticket. Nothing gives you greater confidence than knowing that, regardless of your problems, you are working to solve them. Deciding to address your own issues is a magical moment. After the decision, you feel empowered. Amazingly, your problems haven’t changed in this moment of decision. Your attitude has merely shifted. It is this shift that makes all the difference.
Many people put off their own development and use others as the reason why. Don’t put off your goals because others in your life are stagnant. When you work on yourself, you heal, regardless of what other people do. Set goals for yourself. Work on them. Then, if you choose to ask others to change, at least you won’t be a hypocrite. You’ll have confidence and the moral authority to ask fairly. Then, regardless of the response, you’ll be still be living an empowered life, which gives you all the options in the world.
Start trying different things. Make a list of productivity tips you’ve read about or friends’ behaviors you’ve been wanting to try, and challenge yourself to do things differently. It doesn’t have to be big things: If you usually get up and check your phone, instead get up and relax for five minutes to start the day fresh. If you usually check your email first thing when you get to the office, instead try spending an hour working on your big task for the day first. Changing habits is hard, but it’s nearly impossible when we overwhelm ourselves with too many changes at once. Instead, it’s better to focus on one major change at a time, and give yourself ample time to establish this change as a habit. I find the most effective way to do this is to practice the new habit every day for a month.
Set up a regular time to check in with yourself on your goal. Every evening, once a week—whatever cadence you think you need to stay on track. Sit down and think about what you’ve been doing well and where your weaknesses have been, and then come up with action items for how you’re going to overcome them. Better yet, write them down so you can keep up with your progress. Effective teammates believe that, sometimes, you have to go slow to go fast. To be a personally accountable leader or teammate, you need to take these steps:
- Recognize when there is a problem. Sometimes this is the hardest part because we’d rather look away or talk about how busy we are instead. Resist the urge to do so.
- Accept that you are part of the problem. You are absolutely contributing to the situation.
- Take personal responsibility for solving the problem.
- Stick with it until the problem is completely solved.
Good luck and don’t forget to start right now!
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